All Game Reviews

Deadly Premonition (Rising Star Games) Board Game Review

"So this is a board game about a really shitty video game?"

"It's a board game about a video game."

"Yeah, but it was a really shitty one, right?"

"It was an homage to Twin Peaks."

"Seems like 'homage' is the word they use to describe shitty things."

"OK look -- have you played the game?"

"No, but I saw it on YouTube."


Fog of Love (Hush Hush Projects) Game Review

I hate romance movies. And it's not for the reason most people think. I'm a sucker for a good romance story, I always have been. Unfortunately, "romance movies" are like "nice guys"; the only reason you use either distinction is because they have nothing else going for them. 

Fog of Love is a "romantic comedy" in a game, and it plays out just like every movie you could ever imagine. It's a sequence of set pieces, cliches, and inexplicable storytelling -- and somehow, it really, really works. But let's get started with the bad (just like in a romance).


Flash Point Fire Rescue (Indie Boards & Cards) Game Review

"Well, we got the dog out. That means we succeeded, right?"

"But there was still a kitty in there."

"Oh no."

"Oh no."

Flash Point looks like a themed Monopoly. I'm hesitant to say that because it's objectively not a true thing. But it really feels like a cheap Hasbro game when you look at it. The character tokens are devoid of personality -- strangely 3D and glossy, like a Sim. The board is simple and bright; someone's illustrator project.

So when my friends whipped it out, my initial reaction was "no."


The Fugitive (Fowers Games) Game Review

The Fugitive is an older two-player game (and by older, I mean 2016 -- look, time's passing quite quickly in this industry) that has a lot going for it, and I don't just mean its cute little briefcase box. Good two player games are pretty rare; I usually find myself whipping out a deck builder if I need to kill time. Many games can be played in a two player mode, but they don't feel built for two players. 


Dice Throne (Mind Bottling Games) Board Game Review

"Do I just hate games?" I wondered as I played Dice Throne. "I'm pretty sure I don't hate games, but I'm starting to feel like I hate games." 

Dice Throne is an extremely well put together game that supports 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 combat, with a total of six different characters: barbarian, monk, moon elf, pyromancer, shadow thief, and paladin. Each of these characters comes with their own deck, board, and dice, and everything fits neatly within their own assorted slots. The game feels good. It looks good. And there's a lot going on in it.


The Donner Dinner Party (Chronicle Books) Game Review

I have a secret confession: I'm tired of social deduction / hidden role games. They almost always play out the exact same way: people yell, and whoever yells loudest wins. 

But they're still enjoyable, provided that the mechanics are all there. In order to be engaging, a social deduction game needs to give someone enough material to work with on both ends. One side needs to be able to achieve plausible deniability. The other side needs to be able to figure things out despite that deniability.


Fallout Game Review (Fantasy Flight Games)

"Well, i guess I have to play Fallout." 

"You don't have to."

"I'm going to, though."

I always hesitate when I see a board game come out based on an existing IP. 80% of them are mindless cash-ins: reskins of old games that add nothing to the mechanics. But that doesn't mean I'm not susceptible to them, either. Slap Fallout on pretty much anything, and I'll be there.


Bunny Kingdom Game Review

Everyone loves bunnies -- and the same pretty much holds true for Bunny Kingdom. Bunny Kingdom is an area control game with a twist. In Bunny Kingdom, you select and play cards that let you control areas, fortify your areas, or perform special actions. Some of these cards also alter end game scoring. For a simple game, Bunny Kingdom is actually deceptively complex, and we quite frequently found people winning with entirely different strategies.


Unlock! Mystery Adventures

Everyone loves a good escape room, but not everyone can convince their friends to each spend $20 for an experience that'll last an hour. Enter: Unlock! Unlock is a series of escape room-themed CYOA games, in which you solve long sequences of puzzles with the help of numbered cards and an app. There are multiple adventures for Unlock, in a variety of series. We played through the "mystery" series. 


One Deck Dungeon

"How is this played?" "I have no idea." "Haven't you played it like three times?" "It was different every time!"

Not an auspicious start. One Deck Dungeon is a one or two player dungeon crawl that should, by all rights, be intuitive and direct. There simply aren't that many game mechanics going on: encounters are cleared as a dungeon is explored,.dice are rolled, and then dice are used to fulfill each encounter. So why is it such a challenge?


Hero Realms: Ruin of Thandar Game Review

Ruin of Thandar adds a cooperative campaign mode to the base Hero Realms set.  A popular fantasy-themed deck builder, Hero Realms is traditionally a competitive game of up to four players. Ruin of Thandar can be played with up to five and requires both Hero Realms and the associated character packs.

What's in the Box?

The base Hero Realms games includes one main deck and four starter decks, which are generic. Also available are five optional character decks (fighter, cleric, thief, ranger, and wizard) which have different, customized starter decks.